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What's new in SoftMaker Office 2018? – Part 4

Dear SoftMaker customers:

In the fourth part of our series we are talking about the new features in Presentations 2018. Since one of its new functions is quite comprehensive, we will devote a short tutorial to it.


Part 4: Presentations 2018

The new master-page concept

You may already know master pages from Presentations 2016 or earlier versions. Each design consisted of a slide master and a title master. That was already very useful, but with Presentations 2018 you can go one step further: Now, each design consists of a superordinate master – the design itself, so to speak – and any number of subordinate layouts.

But let's start from the beginning: Let's say you want to create a presentation that on the one hand should exactly follow your personal ideas, but on the other hand should also have a uniform look, i.e. consistent object positioning, uniform fonts, colors, logos, etc. on all slides. This is exactly where the new master-page concept comes into play – you can use it to create a basic structure that you can then populate with any elements you like. To explore the concept yourself, start with an empty presentation. Just launch Presentations 2018.

If you don't have the full version yet, you can also follow each of the following steps with our free 30-day trial version which you can find here.

As you can see, a (still empty) slide is displayed immediately after starting the application. This slide, too, "inherits" its basic structure from a layout, namely from the layout called "Title slide". "Inheritance" is actually the key term for understanding master pages and their layouts. The logical structure of the (still empty) presentation that you should see now is as follows:

Even though your presentation only contains one slide so far, it already includes a design with eleven ready-made layouts. These layouts are "templates", so to speak, which define the basic arrangement of the elements on your presentation slides. To view these layouts, choose the command View | Slide Master (classic interface: View > Master > Slide master). In this mode, the mini sorter on the left border of the program window no longer shows previews of the slides, but the overview of the "templates" mentioned above, i.e. the layouts:

Here again, you can see the hierarchy between the elements: at the top is the master slide "Default design", which covers the entire design – changes made to it are reflected in all subordinate layouts. The subordinate layouts are shown below it: "Title slide", "Title and content", etc.

How does this inheritance process work in practice? To experiment with it, simply select the superordinate master slide "Default design". Then select the title placeholder and change the font color using the command Home | Text color (classic menus: Format > Character). Switch to one of the subordinate layouts, and you will see that the title area of all layouts now shows the text in the changed color:

Now switch back to your title slide using View | Slides. You will see that the title area of the slide itself has also adopted the changed font color. The hierarchy of design, layouts, and slides outlined above has been demonstrated by the fact that the change made to the element with the highest rank – the design – has affected the slide itself.

Of course, you are not limited to changing font colors. You can add, reposition and format objects at any level of the hierarchy – the changes then become visible at all lower levels. This makes it easy to incorporate logos, use your company's corporate font everywhere, format footers uniformly, and much more.

And best of all, your presentations created in this way are always seamlessly compatible with Microsoft PowerPoint. If you prepare your presentation with Presentations 2018, you can be sure that you can open it on another computer with Microsoft Office without any problems.

By the way: Of course, you are not limited to the eleven ready-made layouts when working with the new master pages. As mentioned above, you can use Presentations 2018 to create as many of them as you like, so that you have the right template for every purpose. To do this, activate the slide master view again (View | Slide master) and then choose the command Slide master | Add layout. You then have another layout at your disposal on which you can add placeholders and other design elements as you wish. If you want to add a new slide with this layout to your presentation, simply call Home | Add and select the layout you just created.

Presenter view – your „cockpit“ during a presentation

With Presentations 2018, you can be sure that you will always stay on top of things during your presentation – thanks to the new presenter view. While the presentation is shown to your audience on the main screen or projector, you see a practical user interface with a lot of useful information on the second screen:

You can activate the presenter view by switching on the checkbox Slide show | Presenter view. As you can see in the picture above, the following control elements are now available to you during the presentation:

  • The current slide with the elapsed time in the upper left area – as well as numerous practical tools on the left below: Here you can add highlights, swap screen and projector and change the viewing options during your presentation.
  • A thumbnail of the next slide in the upper right area
  • Your notes in the middle right
  • Thumbnails of all slides in the lower area for easy navigation within your presentation

You can look forward to your next totally stress-free presentation – Presentations 2018 offers all tools you need to keep track of everything important during your presentation.

Slide transitions and animations using OpenGL graphics acceleration

Presentations 2018 offers impressive 2D and 3D effects based on OpenGL. This is particularly interesting for Linux and Mac users: in contrast to the DirectX animations and slide transitions of earlier versions, the complex effects can now also be used in the Linux and Mac versions of our Office suite. Here is a small appetizer:

Of course, this is only a tiny fraction of the dozens of slide transitions and transition variants available in Presentations 2018.

With a few clicks you can get an impression for yourself – the complete presentation is available for download under the following link:

Download "elegant_handwriting_fonts_2018.prdx"

After the download you can open the PRDX file as usual with Presentations and display the presentation with all transitions by clicking on Slide show | Start (classic menus: Show > Start slide show). You don't have SoftMaker Office 2018 yet? No problem: you can also view the presentation with our free 30-day trial version – and of course you can edit it as you wish.

Tip: Do you like our GIF animation? With the free tool ScreenToGif, you can easily create such animations yourself. You can download it for free at

Modern movie codecs

Did you know? Presentations 2018 now uses all codecs installed on your system – both to play embedded movies and to export presentations as videos. Compatibility problems with WMV files are now a thing of the past.

In the new ribbon interface you will find the command to insert videos into your presentation under Insert | Movie. If you want to export your presentation as a video file, use the function File | Export as | Movie.

We hope that this fourth installment of our series about SoftMaker Office 2018 gave you interesting insights into the new features of our Office suite.

Thank you for the feedback you gave on the previous parts of our series. This time, too, we would be happy to see your feedback: for questions, wishes and ideas use the comment function of this blog.

Have fun trying out the new SoftMaker Office 2018!


David Wardley

2020-02-27 20:19

Again I have lost the picture preview when using "insert picture". The directory of jpg's comes up but no preview when one is selected. It used to work so well, 'should be a default. The preview showed on the right hand side of the list.


2020-02-27 20:48

A lot of information is missing, making it impossible to help you here. Operating system? Version of SoftMaker Office? System or non-system file dialogs etc. Please visit to post a support inquiry.


2019-09-09 21:08

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE add the ability to Add Videos and Audio to a Presentation on the Ubuntu LINUX version! Loooong overdue

I payed for it thinking it can insert Video and export entire presentations as Video as well


2019-05-06 20:37

09-05-2019 13:38
I have a question that may be suited for the April Blog. In April 2019 you, Soft Maker, made available an Anniversary download which I was unable to execute. Will this download be available again and will the instructions include a help file or FAQ for those who are trying to download the update unsuccessfully?
Soft Maker 2018 was purchased to replace my aging Microsoft Office 2007 program and I'm still learning how to get around TextMaker. One feature that I miss is the ability to print "selection", and a few other features that were useful in MS Office 2007.


2019-05-07 07:20

The latest revision of TextMaker 2018 enables you to print selected text. To do so, please activate the radio button "Selection" in the print dialog.

If you need assistance with the update, please contact our technical support:


2019-03-06 15:22

A great application! I would like to be able to align the objects with respect to the page (in addition to aligning them between them). Keep in that way.


2019-03-06 15:23

Thanks for you comment. This feature is already on our wish list for future versions of Presentations.


2019-03-06 15:21

Sorry to say: I liked the User interface (startscreen of Textmaker 2016) better than the new one of Textmaker 2018.
Is there a possibility to get the 2016 startscreen layout?


2019-03-06 15:22

SoftMaker Office 2018 enables you to work with either modern ribbons or with a classic user interface with menus and toolbars—as known from SoftMaker Office 2016. When you start our applications for the first time, a dialog appears that lets you choose your preferred user interface. You can also change it at a later time by right-clicking on the toolbar/ribbon and selecting "User interface" from the context menu.


2019-03-06 15:19

Very much enjoy the new features. Any chance we can get a slide view / notes view hybrid that allows editing notes while still being able to adjust elements and view the slide?

Also, can't wait for the *.odp tt to come to SoftMaker Office 2018. :-)

Thanks for all the hard work!


2019-03-06 15:20

Thanks a lot! We're glad to hear you're satisfied with our software. The features you suggested are already on our wishlist for future versions of Presentations. However, please note that we cannnot provide you with a timeframe yet.


2019-03-06 15:14

when will be polish version?


2019-03-06 15:15

Thanks for your comment. Polish is on top of our list of new UI languages we're going to add to future versions of SoftMaker Office. However, please note that we cannnot provide you with a timeframe yet.

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